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STEM Tuesday
  • STEM Tuesday-- Invasive Species-- Interview with Author Lisa Amstutz
    STEM Tuesday– Invasive Species– Interview with Author Lisa Amstutz
    January 25, 2022 by
    Welcome to STEM Tuesday: Author Interview & Book Giveaway, a repeating feature for the fourth Tuesday of every month. Go Science-Tech-Engineering-Math! Today we’re interviewing Lisa Amstutz, author of Invasive Species. The book is part of the “engaging and informative” Ecological Disasters series, according to School Library Journal. Mary Kay Carson: How did you come to write Invasive Species? Lisa Amstutz: This book was an assignment from an educational publisher as part of their Ecological Disasters series. Because of my background in ecology, this one felt like a great fit, and I was excited to dig in! For those who aren’t familiar with this market, some educational publishers hire writers to produce series for them instead of reviewing projects submitted by authors/agents, as most trade publishers do. These series are designed in-house and are highly targeted to the school curriculum. Authors are given a set of guidelines that includes things like word count, reading level, a general outline, number of sidebars, etc. MKC: The book...
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  • Steve Jenkins' Books: a Middle-Grader's Treasure
    Steve Jenkins’ Books: a Middle-Grader’s Treasure
    January 24, 2022 by
    Author/Illustrator Steve Jenkins’ recent and sudden death surprised and saddened fans of his informative, engaging books about animals and the natural world Now is a good time to celebrate and enjoy the many books we have by him (they never go out of print) and to share them with young readers. I’ll speak of Steve here in the present tense, because he is still very much alive in his books, and there are more to come! Steve Jenkins’ career and  books combine in marvelous ways his life-long love and understanding of science, of art, and of children, how they think and wonder. He’s never lost his playfulness or his own childhood curiosity about the natural world. His book ideas often begin with an irresistible question that kids (including his own) have asked.  Or one that he has asked himself. How do different animals see? What do animals do on their...
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  • STEM Tuesday-- Invasive Species -- Writing Tips & Resources
    STEM Tuesday– Invasive Species — Writing Tips & Resources
    January 18, 2022 by
    Looking at Language When it comes to studying the use of language, this month’s topic “invasive species” is a prefect. Just take a look at the word “invasive.” What emotions does it conjure? In what other contexts have you heard that word used? Would you consider the term to be objective or subjective? In the STEM disciplines, educators work hard to help students understand the value of objectivity. We all want engineers designing bridges to take an objective approach to measurement! When studying the natural world, objectivity helps us uncover truths unhampered by personal biases, emotions, and beliefs. But no human is perfectly objective. To promote better practitioners of STEM, we must help students develop the intellectual tools to think critically about their own and other’s biases. An inquiry into the language used in STEM books is a great way to introduce that. It’s also a great way to learn...
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  • STEM Tuesday -- Invasive Species-- In the Classroom
    STEM Tuesday — Invasive Species– In the Classroom
    January 11, 2022 by
    Nature can fall out of balance when invasive species enter a new ecosystem. What happens to that ecosystem and its native species when that happens? This month’s STEM Tuesday theme focuses on this important issue and how scientists are studying the effects of invasive species. Here are a few books from our STEM Tuesday list and ways to explore more in the classroom. Tracking Pythons : The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save An Ecosystem by Kate Messner This book takes readers out on a python patrol where we meet a team of scientist studying the invasive snake. Readers also meet other invaders of the Florida Everglades. There’s technology (radiotracking), python CSI, snake autopsies (called necropsies) and a wonderful series of sidebars highlighting “How to Catch a Python.” Great photos and a Most Wanted invasive species list add interest. Classroom activity: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is...
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Contributors

Photo of Kirsten W. Larson

Kirsten W. Larson

Website: kirsten-w-larson.com

Biography

Kirsten W. Larson used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes about both science and history for kids. She is the author of 25 nonfiction books, including the Robotics in Our World series (Amicus). Calkins Creek will publish her debut picture book, WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane (illus. by Tracy Subisak) in 2020. Originally from Virginia, Kirsten lives near Los Angeles. Find her at kirsten-w-larson.com or on Twitter and Instagram @KirstenWLarson.